Johar Gandhi Initiative is set up in 2016 by the core team of the ‘Meer Foundation’ Meer Foundation is a registered non-government-organization established in 2011, working in the areas of Sustainability, Cultural Development and environment with the mission of making Chhattisgarh Rich cultural state, drought-free and prosperous.
Chhattisgarh is renowned for its rich cultural heritage that reflects various aspects of this beautiful state. The cultural life of Chhattisgarh comprises varied sorts of traditional art and crafts, tribal dances, folk songs, regional festivals and fairs, and amusing cultural fests. Mainly, Chhattisgarh is occupied by tribal people that have preserved their rich tribal culture modestly and religiously. Eastern parts of the state of Chhattisgarh are influenced by Oriya culture. People of the state are traditional and believe in a simple way of living following their traditional customs and beliefs. It is often visibly observed in their food habits, festivals, and fairs, costumes, ornaments, folk dance, and music also. Chhattisgarh also hosts various cultural fests like Chakradhar Samaroh, Sirpur Mahotsav, Rajim Kumbh, and other Festival and Bastar Lokotsav, etc. that showcase the vibrant cultural life of the state.
Johar Gandhi (Play) highlights the values of love, selflessness, diversity, truth and community building through the story of Mahatma Gandhi and Babu Chhotelal Shrivastawa. The play examines how Gandhi came to Chhattisgarh for the first time after a huge satyagrah was held in 1920.
Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival in Chhattisgarh and the activities done by him here are relatively little known to the general public. The Play has been composed on the basis of the information available about it from the articles presented.
Mahatma Gandhi came to Chhattisgarh twice, first time in December 1920 and second time in November 1933. The first migration was in connection with Water Satyagraha and the second time was for Tilak Kosh and Swaraj Kosh.
(Mahatma Gandhi’s first visit to Chhattisgarh in December 1920. Although not mentioned in Gandhi’s history, there is enough information from various local sources that Mahatma Gandhi came to Raipur in connection with the Kandel Canal Satyagraha and went to Dhamtari, Kurud.)
‘Following the Amritsar Congress of 1919, at which the Khilfat Movement was endorsed and Non-Co-0pration was adopted as a political weapon, the District Conference was held at Raipur in the year1920. A public meeting was held on 17 March, 1920 and a Khilafat sub-committee was formed. When Asgar Ali thanked the Hindu brethren for their sympathy for the Muslim cause, Ravi Shankar Shukla retorted, “We are no more Hindu and Muslims, but Hindustanis in the strictest sense.” Such was the spirit of those times.
Those were the days of brisk and militant political activities. Just before the Nagpur session of the Congress, Mahatma Gandhi visited Raipur, with Ali brothers, on 20 December,1920in connection with Tilak Fund and Swarajya Fund. Gandhiji visited Dhamtari and Kurud also, where people expresse their regards by a good deal of contribution to the Fund. It was in such an atmosphere that the Raipur District Committee was formed.’
Chhattisgarhi Folk is the key factor of the Play. The entire compositions of Music, Art and Act is played in Chhattisgarhi Language with traditional Chhattisgarhi Folk Music & Art form.
The Play is not a tradition stereotype play to make you feel bored, the play is highly advanced and equipped with new-age entertainment tools.
Dance & Music
Dance & the Music is the key of Soul, and with the Folklore style of the Play makes you feel alive with its Dance and Musical journey.
“Few years ago, we started with a small dream. The dream was that if people united and worked as one, Chhattisgarh would become rich cultured, sustainable and drought-free with Clean Water recourses. Till 2017, there were more then three hundred School, Collages and villages working for the awareness. By 2019, we start walking besides rivers and workshop programme to connect rural and urban areas to joined the movement. People worked relentlessly and shattered barriers of gender, politics, class, religion and caste. Moving forward, we envision a future where Chhattisgarh’s citizens can create the life of their dreams; where we can restore our Culture & environment and ensure greater financial security. We invite you to join the Gandhian revolution.”
“For me, doing social work and supporting NGOs is more important than endorsing a brand. I think that’s what God has given us as artist. If you can do social work – for the environment, for poor, for the elderly, for children who are terminally ill, for animals that cannot speak for themselves – I think that’s more important than walking around in dark glasses with bodyguards. As an Artist we’re given an opportunity, a platform – and I think the best way we can use that platform is to support charitable causes and try to improve things around us in any way we can.”
Founder, Meer Foundation
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Mahatma Gandhi’s first visit to Chhattisgarh
Mahatma Gandhi’s second visit to Chhattisgarh